Randomness finds Meaning

@Saren Blog



Inspired by Fast Company and Lifehacker. Here are some notes about how I get things done (GTD) day-to-day.

Time I Get Up:

7 AM.

First Thing I Do Each Morning:

Currently, I remove a 5 year-old foot from my face. Then I get up, make the bed, and change the water in the family kamidana. Email waits until after breakfast.

Apps and Other Assistants:

New ideas and random thoughts always go into Evernote if they are for me to think about later. Twitter is for the random thoughts that I want to throw into the ether.

I have all my online magazines, blogs and news sites aggregated into Feed.ly and I scan through them once or twice a day to try and keep up with the latest.

iOS/OSX Reminders Apps with location and time triggers.

BufferApp.com helps me time my shared links. Pintrest collects my favorite images, particularly my favorite iOS UX screens to reference. IFTTT gives me additional reminders or social media triggers so I don’t have to remember to post.


I was born and raised as a Liberal Arts major with a great appreciation for serendipity. I want to know a little about a lot of things and only dive deep into a few key subjects. I love new experiences. My advice to strive to never say no to a new experience.

Last Thing I Do Each Night:

I like to fall asleep brainstorming something from the back-burner. So the last hour or so of the day is reviewing a handful of zeitgeist sites: Digg.com is my favorite, Hacker News, Sidebar.io, Medium, Stellar, the first two or three pages of Reddit (and no more).

Time I Go To Bed:
1 AM

30+ Digital Trends Reports for 2014

Last updated: December 10, 2013.

Here is my annual digital trends roundup of over 35 articles predicting the hot topics for 2014. Over the past few weeks I have set my Google Alerts and Twitter searches to try and pick up any and all trend reports from around the web, and I’ve itemized all the subject nominations into a large, curated Google Doc: The 2014 Trend Matrix.

Digital Marketing is my primary professional interest, but I have also included relevant Cultural, Consumer, Advertising, IT, and Social Media trend reports as well. I have weighted the trends to favor the major research organizations (Forrester, Gartner, Landor, IDC, eMarketer and Jupiter) because I assume they pay a lot of people to stay on top of such things – so they should have some extra super powers the rest of us don’t have. But I did try to add a number of other sources to confirm or augment the list.

I’ll add more links to the comments as the appear. Please post additional links or thoughts in the comments if they come to you while you review the below. Follow the links below for more information.

And the winners for 2014 are…

The Top 5 for 2014

  1. The Internet of Things: Wearable Computers, Google Glass, Smart Watches, Sensors
  2. Big Data: Predictive/Visualized/Simplifed/Actionable Big Data
  3. Cloud: $100B Cloud/Client Cloud/Personal Cloud Services
  4. 3D Printing/Smart 3D with Sensors
  5. Raging Against the Machine: Turning off/Tuning Out/Better Work/Life Balance & Automated/Trigger Messaging (TIE)

Major Research Organizations




Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Presentations

There is a long list of great presentations and speeches, both historical and present day. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Steve Job’s original iPhone reveal are two memorable examples. Within most of these great presentations is a fundamental structure, or pattern, that can inform how your next great presentation is built. Nancy Duarte’s persuasive story pattern is a remarkable piece of work, and this video is the TED talk in which she introduces the primary components of the pattern.

Nancy Duarte's Persuasive Presentation Storyline

Aaron Dignan on Why the Future of Work is Play

Dignan is the CEO of the strategy firm Undercurrent and the author of ‘Game Frame,’ and a frequent presenter on the topic of gamification. In this video he talks about how to make life more interesting and engaging through the use of game mechanics. Play is a fun sounding word to introduce into a discussion on work, and gamification is a term that is often dropped into conversation as a way to counteract boredom or the rote tasks that we all would rather avoid. The workplace is rarely designed for fun or pleasure. It’s much more often a basic exchange of labor for cash. In actuality, when designed correctly, gamification techniques do trigger motivation in participants, to inspire interest in something that most of us would rather avoid.

This is a funny and entertaining view into the science of games applied to real world boredom.

Douglas Rushkoff on Narrative Collapse

If everything is now, now, now, who has time to do proper storytelling? Douglas Rushkoff discusses the remarkable implications of our overloaded senses for advertising, drama, and even religion, as the time for storytelling collapses into itself. Recorded on the street at South-by-Southwest 2013 by Leo Burnett, it’s a great insight into the ramifications of too much information and too many devices.